02.27.15felting pods…

 

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

A fabulous workshop in Riverhead this week at the East End Arts Council.  I try to post soon after my workshops a bit of a recap from the class as well as a list of resources for wool and goodies.

Whenever you’re felting a 3 dimensional piece whether it be a pod or a pair of slippers, you want to use a resist.  A resist is needed to prevent the walls or sides from felting together.  In this case, we were felting vessels so we used foam board resists.  We cut them to size taking into consideration that our finished piece will have shrunk up to 20% or so, give or take depending…

After we cut the resist to our desired shape and size, we covered the first side with our fibers, which for this workshop we used short fiber merino from New England Felting Supply.  The first side, whether it be a top, bottom, or a side was then decorated and wet down.  Once completed, we flipped it over to cover the other side of the resist.  Before the leftover fibers from the first side were folded over, we filled up the “empty space” on the second side with matching fibers to complete a solid cover around the entire resist.  No holes (for this project).  After the second side was covered with fibers, we wrapped the fibers from the first side onto the second.  It was then wet down with warm soapy water and covered with bubble wrap so we could start to massage those fibers around and start the felting process.  After 10 minutes or so, the piece was flipped over to start the felting process on the first side.  Sounds confusing but once you start you’ll remember the steps, not to mention I’m an email away…

After the piece has had both sides massaged (remembering to be “pulling the ends in” towards the center), it is now time to start to roll.  We sandwiched it between our bubble wrap, rolled it around a pool noodle and then wrapped that in a bamboo mat (this kept it from unraveling).   The idea here is to keep rotating your work 90 degrees, this way it felts evenly around.  You also want to flip it so that the curled edges that are facing up after every roll, are facing down with the next rotation.  This also helps to keep the shrinkage process evenly distributed.  Once we see that the resist looks really curled and squished inside of our felt, it’s time to cut a hole, work the fresh cut (felt the raw edges) and remove the resist.  Our job didn’t end there though… We stuck our hand inside and started to rub vigorously our pod or vessel against the bubble wrap until we achieved full sturdy felt.  This takes a while.

I broke the process down like this for time: One hour to plan and lay out fibers.  Another hour just to wet, complete the other side, wet and start the massage.  The third hour we spent rolling, cutting out our resist and then felting our pod or vessel with our hand inside and rotating while we roll.   Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset You keep this process going until you achieve your desired size and shape.  Then leave to dry.  Remember to wet down as you go,  wet and rub some soap onto your bubble wrap when you massaging,  this lubricates and allows your hand to move around freely.  Check out the link on the side of my blog to New England Felting Supply.  It’s a one stop shop for everything you need.  We used short fiber, but you can also grab some curly locks and other various fibers, explore and experiment and remember to email me some pictures!  See you all next time at class, happy felting!

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